WSJ Quietly Drops Entrepreneurs; Still Provides Stories

Today’s WSJ has an interesting article about a small business/entrepreneur in trouble. It turns out the story by Simona Covel is worth reading as it highlights how an entrepreneur made it through some tough times by radically shifting his core products.

As noteworthy as the article and the insights it provides are, the section that it appeared in is intriguing. In the physical paper (that I still love getting every morning and reading with coffee and CNBC), the article appeared in the back of the Marketplace Section under the header Small Business Link.

Small Business Link is a special monthly section that focuses on a topic of interest each month. This months edition is on cash flow and offers three articles. Three articles in a month? Under the banner of small business?

Not so long ago the WSJ created a whole new section on entrepreneurship. I blogged about it here. As I wrote in that post (Aug 2007), “Well, today I noticed that Startupjournal.com is gone and now there is a section called simply Entrepreneur, in their main news navigation bar — among such traditional sections as US Business, Europe, Politics and Policy.”

That Entrepreneur tab on the home page navigation didn’t last very long. It disappeared a few months ago and I waited to see what would happen. (In retrospect I should have grabbed a screen shot of the prominent placement of ‘Entrepreneur’ on the WSJ’s main nav system). And btw, it also appears the WSJ has removed StartupJournal from the main navigation and its lexicon.

Yes Independent Street Blog is there and is worth reading and Spors and Bounds are solid writers, but the recognition that ‘Entrepreneurs’, risk bearing, growth focussed individuals, are central to sustainable global growth has been removed. In its place is the milquetoast noun: Small Business. And yes, the Small Business tab is down in the lower part of the navigation system, not up at the top where Entrepreneur was.

I have no idea why the WSJ didn’t try to build a section worthy of the header Entrepreneur. Perhaps Entrepreneur Magazine sent a letter from their legal department? Perhaps Rupert’s people killed it after they took over? Perhaps with the turmoil in the newspaper business, all newer, non-profitable projects were shut down?

Does any of this matter? And perhaps it is nothing more than word and web layout, but it strikes me as odd that the leading business paper in North America cannot find a way to cover and effectively communicate the importance of entrepreneurs (not small business people) and their central role in the economy.

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